How to Successfully Outsource Your Business‘s Social Media Management

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Hey there! Managing your business‘s social media marketing in-house sounds simple in theory. But the reality is, for most companies, it becomes complex and overwhelming. In fact, studies show 63% of marketers now outsource social media tasks. And it‘s no wonder why – outsourcing can provide game-changing benefits if done right.

In this comprehensive guide, I‘ll walk you through:

  • The advantages of outsourcing parts or all of your social media
  • How to identify the right partner for your brand
  • Key steps for establishing and managing the relationship

By the end, you‘ll have all the tools to confidently outsource your social media and achieve next-level results. Let‘s dive in!

Why Outsource Social Media Management?

Before we look at finding the perfect partner, let‘s explore the main reasons for outsourcing in the first place:

1. Access Specialized Skills and Experience

The social media landscape moves incredibly fast. New algorithms, features, strategies. It‘s a full-time job just keeping up! An experienced manager brings expertise your team likely lacks. For example, 41% of companies outsource content creation according to Social Media Examiner. An outside specialist spends all day crafting top-notch content.

2. Gain 24/7 Coverage

In-house teams are limited to business hours. But social media never sleeps! Outsourced teams monitor notifications, respond to customers, and post content around the clock. No more missed messages or tumbleweeds after 6 pm.

3. Significant Cost Savings

Hiring an in-house manager costs approximately $28,000 annually when including salary, benefits, equipment, training and more. Outsourced services cost between $1,000 – $3,000 monthly. Far more budget-friendly, especially for smaller businesses or companies with light social media needs.

4. Objectivity and Fresh Perspective

An outsider provides an impartial, outside-in view of your brand. They assess performance data objectively and bring fresh strategies to the table. For companies who‘ve handled social media internally for years, this new perspective is game changing.

Let‘s look at some common challenges that signal it may be time to hand social media off to the experts:

Challenge Signs You‘re Facing This
Overwhelmed Internal Staff – Managing multiple brands/accounts – Social media duties on top of other marketing tasks – Difficulty creating consistent content
Skill Gaps – Declining engagement and following growth – Low organic reach and traffic from social
Limited Resources – No budget for content creators, tools, paid media – Relying on makeshift solutions like personal accounts
Missed Opportunities – Don‘t fully understand social ad options – Leaving niche networks and features untapped – Slow response rates missing sales

Data Source: State of Social Media Report 2022

As you can see, outsourcing relieves these pressures. But partner selection is critical – you want an expert aligned with your brand, not just any external help. Next I‘ll cover the keys to choosing the right fit.

How to Select the Right Social Media Partner

Outsourcing only works if your provider‘s experience, style and vision sync with your brand. Here are my top tips for making the match:

Seek Industry-Specific Expertise

Avoid generic agencies – you want demonstrated expertise in your niche. For example, B2B brands should seek out B2B social media experience. Ask to see case studies and client examples in your field.

Vet Communication Styles

Your ideal partner communicates like your internal team would. Review the tone and language in their own social channels and client work. Do a short trial post or two to assess the fit.

Start with a Pilot Project

Don‘t commit long-term without testing results! Execute a one-month pilot on a limited scope like community management. If metrics and communication are strong, expand from there.

Define the Terms Thoroughly

Leave nothing gray area – create a detailed management agreement covering scope, approval processes, reporting needs, compliance, etc. Treat this like the business contract it is.

Focus on Strategy Partnership

Your goal isn‘t to hand the keys over fully. Seek a strategist who will learn your brand and collaborate closely on content planning and message strategy.

Questions to Ask Prospective Providers:

  • How much experience do you have managing accounts in our industry specifically?
  • What is your process for learning our brand voice and preparing content?
  • How will you communicate and collaborate with our internal team?
  • What tools and technologies do you use to manage accounts?
  • How do you monitor reach and engagement metrics?
  • What monthly reporting can we expect to receive?
  • What compliance procedures do you follow for regulated industries?
  • What crisis response experience do you have if needed?

Vetting with in-depth questions like these will help you identify the ideal strategic partner for your brand‘s needs and culture.

Now let‘s explore the typical pricing models so you can budget properly.

Social Media Management Pricing Models

Model Description Pros Cons
Hourly Pay by actual hours worked Flexibility if needs vary month-to-month Administrative tracking hours
Monthly Retainer Predictable set fee each month Easier budgeting Difficult to scale up or down
Tiered Packages Bundled services at set rates Menu of options to meet different needs May pay for services you don‘t use
Performance Fee Bonuses for hitting KPIs Rewards successful management Metrics must be tightly defined

Data Source: CircleBlue Marketing Pricing Study 2022

As shown above, each model has pluses and minuses. Analyze your budget, needs and growth plans to select the right approach. Just be sure pricing aligns with the level of experience and services offered.

Okay, you‘ve done the diligence to find the perfect social media outsourcing match. Now it‘s time to successfully manage that partnership.

Managing the Relationship for Continued Success

Outsourcing isn‘t a "set it and forget it" proposition. Active management keeps the relationship productive over the long haul:

Monitor Performance Together

Review metrics on a monthly cadence to spot any dips or issues early. Is growth slowing? Engagement declining? Work collaboratively to course correct.

Provide Open, Honest Feedback

Don‘t wait for quarterly reviews – provide regular feedback so your partner can adjust. Praise excellent work to reinforce it. Constructive criticism prevents problems.

Adjust Scope as Business Needs Change

Your social media priorities will evolve. Revisit the agreement quarterly to modify services, platforms, hours and staffing to meet changing needs.

Watch for Red Flags

Immediately address any missteps like tone inconsistencies, compliance issues, unanswered comments. Reassess training needs or look for a better agency fit if problems persist.

The Bottom Line

Whew, we covered a lot! The keys I want you to take away are:

  • Outsourcing amplifies your social media productivity and expertise

  • But partner selection must be strategic – take time to thoroughly vet

  • Manage closely to ensure the agency aligns with your evolving brand needs

Done right, outsourcing social media will accelerate your brand growth and online presence. So don‘t wait – use the process above to find your dream partner today! Feel free to reach out with any other questions. I wish you tremendous success.


Written by Alexis Kestler

A female web designer and programmer - Now is a 36-year IT professional with over 15 years of experience living in NorCal. I enjoy keeping my feet wet in the world of technology through reading, working, and researching topics that pique my interest.